Christmas is coming! How you train and eat, and especially drink, in the lead up to the festive period will largely dictate your state of mind (and body) when you reach January 2016.
Do you have a goal in mind for the New Year? Are you big on New Year’s Resolutions? Are you going to reach January and be disheartened by your backwards or negative progress?
With the limited time available and cold weather sweeping the nation, you want to maximise your time in the gym – get in, be effective, and get out should be your mantra.
Therefore, preferred exercises feature a ‘huge bang for your buck’. Exercises that use large amounts of muscle, tax the heart hard, and require your full attention are essential. This is where circuits come in particularly useful, as you can perform your weighted, muscle based exercises like Squats and lunges early in the circuit and more heart rate based exercises like sprints and burpees towards the end.
At the end of the circuit, rest, before restarting the circuit again and tackling the harder exercises with a (mostly) fresh body! Another variation on this idea that is a favourite with our clients involves selecting a piece of equipment (kettlebell, dumbbell or medicine ball) and sticking with that for the whole workout.
For those of you training at home, I’d suggest grabbing a big heavy bag of rice (at least 2kgs, preferably 5kgs!) and smashing a circuit like this:
Perform 10 reps of each exercise before moving onto the next. Once you’ve completed everything, rest for two minutes and start again! Three rounds is a good start!
This simple circuit hits all your important muscle groups and gets your heart pounding. Ensure your form doesn’t deteriorate as you tire, and remember to get your water bottle ready before you start! The benefits? Stronger muscles, a huge afterburn effect (calories burnt after you finish exercising), and fast fat loss! This is both an efficient and effective workout!
Keeping your mind in a fit state isn’t always as simple as going about your business and training hard in the gym. YOU know what works best for you, and now is the time to start implementing things that make you feel good. In terms of general stress relief, we at The Active Lifestyle strongly recommend you take up a hobby which taxes and destresses your mind.
Depending on your activity levels, various forms of Yoga provide slow, considered stretches and poses that allow you to free your mind from clutter. Yin for example is a style of Yoga favoured by many with stressful lives, as is the practice of meditation. Many people start with just 10-15 minutes of meditation practice a day and rave about the results – as with anything, as you become better at doing it, your results will improve.
The final trifecta to our plan is to simply be HEALTHIER. Very easy to say, less easy to do. The daily choices you make in terms of food will directly impact your health and your waistline. If you choose badly, your body will show the negative effects on the outside, but it will also be affected on the inside, too. If possible, avoid foods that leave you bloated and gassy.
Avoid foods that leave you feeling sore or tender. And avoid junk food because you have to care for yourself. Self-care is a tough thing for people to do, especially in this day and age where everyone and everything is always shouting trying to grab your time and attention. You have hundreds of responsibilities. But remember, if you are ill or depressed, taking care of these responsibilities is much more difficult.
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